PHD snatches £2.6m offline Expedia work

Online travel agent Expedia.co.uk has appointed PHD to handle its £2.6m offline media planning and buying account.

Online travel agent Expedia.co.uk has appointed PHD to handle its &£2.6m offline media planning and buying account.

The appointment is another blow to incumbent Media Planning Group (MPG), which recently lost the Orange media account to Initiative Media (MW last week). MPG’s digital planning and buying division, Media Contacts, remains Expedia’s online planning and buying agency.

The pitch was overseen by marketing director Beverly Shaw, a former Coca-Cola marketer, who joined Expedia last October (MW October 31, 2002). In January, Shaw appointed Clemmow Hornby Inge to handle the company’s creative business (MW January 9) and the agency developed a TV, press and outdoor branding campaign in April with the strapline “What’s your perfect trip?”.

Expedia.co.uk was launched in 1998 and last year majority shareholder Microsoft sold its stake in the site’s parent company, Expedia Inc, to InterActiveCorp (IAC), which is headed by American media mogul Barry Diller. IAC also owns Ticket-master, match.com and hotels.com and has just bought US discount travel website Hotwire.

Analysts now expect Diller to embark on an online shopping spree in Europe, with lastminute.com and ebookers being likely targets.

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